As a student you may be wondering why should I study a STEM subject and what are the possible career options for me? Well, working in STEM related fields has a huge number of benefits. These industries allow you to let your creative juices flow - something that not many people realise happens in this industry. Engineering for example allows you to explore and create different possibilities. If problem solving is your thing, why not consider working in engineering? You can help provide solutions to a number of different problems and can even help propel astronauts into space.
A lot of awareness is being made for girls to study and work in STEM. Recently, an engineering jobs team created an online database to help encourage and inspire more female students to work in the engineering and aerospace industry.
In the Telegraph Jobs Women In Space database resource you can find out all about the female role models that have worked as engineers, scientists and even technologists in the aerospace industry, to actually travelling to space on missions. This is a really useful tool as it gives you role models to aspire to. Maybe you will be the next Anita Sengupta who is developing, launching, and testing an ultra-cold quantum gas facility that is due for blast-off in 2016; a female engineering the future of space activity.
There are many great resources out there but this really allows you to see how the role models created their own unique pathways into the industry and the path you could possibly follow. It can be an extremely daunting not knowing which route to take when it comes to making choices in terms of your education but a scan through the resource will help you see exactly what these women did. If there is a specific job in engineering that you are interested in, chances are you will find a woman that pursued that career on the database. From there, you will be able to determine how you are going to get to where you want to be, from looking at the women that achieved their career goals.
How do I enter the engineering industry?
If you are interested in working in engineering, there are a huge number of different pathways to enter into this industry. Having a keen interest in maths and science, particularly physics, is always a good start. Studying these subjects at school will give you a good head start, especially if you carry them through to higher education. These subjects provide a great base start for working in engineering. The quickest route to becoming a chartered engineer from there is going to university to study an engineering degree. However, there are also routes in to engineering from a mathematics or science degree with the relevant work experience background.
There are also apprenticeship routes into engineering. After finishing school, students are able to study further academic programs at college while working as an apprentice. This can be a good route for those that wish to learn the practical side of the job, while getting paid and studying at the same time.
What types of engineering roles exist in space?
From the 'Women in Space' database, you can see that there are a huge number of inspirational women working in engineering in the aerospace industry. Depending on the kind of role you are looking to do, you can be very hands on and practical or if you prefer office based roles, there are more computer-focused jobs out there.
Abbie Hutty is a spacecraft structures engineer creating and designing the ExoMars Rover vehicle, which is quite a creative job role. In contrast, Yelena Serova is a test cosmonaut and flight engineer. She is due to journey up to space for 6 months conducting biophysical and medical experiments, which is a more hands on job role. There are so many job roles out there, you just have to look in to what interests you and follow your passion like these women. Reading the background stories of the women on the database is a good place to start as it can give you some inspiration.
What are the rewards of working in Engineering?
There are a number of different salary levels from working in engineering however these industry salaries are definitely the more appealing ones. The starting level salaries from graduate level are very appealing. This makes it a desirable field of work to enter. Nonetheless, there is more to making engineering appealing, than just the salary.
There are other rewards from working in the industry, such as seeing your projects come to life. Seeing creations you have crafted and worked on become fully operational is often one of the more rewarding sides of working in engineering. Being able to see people use the structures, made from your projects, is a huge reward.
So start developing your skills today and one day you may be part of the space database.